11 Eye-Catching Hacker Statistics

If you believe the movies, it would be easy to assume that hackers are primarily young, debonair, – albeit a bit geeky – hobbyists looking to right some kind of wrong. You might also think that they’re out to destroy the world by taking over dangerous systems to cause chaos or secure some twisted form of justice. However, the reality is often quite different.

If you’re curious about who hackers actually are, here are 11 eye-catching hacker statistics that are worth checking out.

1. Only 4 or 5% of Cybercriminals Are Ever Apprehended

While it may not surprise many, the number of cybercriminals that ultimately pay for the harm they cause is quite low. A mere 4 to 5% are ever apprehended, demonstrating just how challenging it is to prosecute hackers.

In some cases, the challenge involves identifying who was responsible for a cybercrime. However, there are also issues relating to international law and extradition. Not all countries will willingly hand over a hacker, even if it’s clear they were behind a crime in another nation. The reason for that can vary, ranging from pure politics to differences in local laws to problems relating to the cost of apprehension, housing, and ultimately transporting the individual.

[Source: Security IT Summit]

2. Hackers Steal 75 Records Every Second

Each second of every day, hackers are infiltrating systems and accessing data. On average, their efforts allow hackers to steal a shocking 75 records every second. That totals out to nearly 6.5 million records each day or about 2.37 billion per year.

[Source: Security Boulevard]

3. 86% of Hackers Are Money-Motivated

While some hackers mainly want to make a point, correct a perceived wrong, or have a little fun, the vast majority engage in hacking activities for financial gain. Overall, 86 percent of hackers are motivated by money above all else, using ransomware to secure payments, selling stolen data on the dark web, or using other techniques to ultimately snag a profit.

[Source: Security Boulevard]

4. 87% of Ethical Hackers in the US Are Male

Of those working as ethical hackers, 87% of them are male. That means only 13% are women. While that may seem to show a gender-related bias in the field, that isn’t necessarily the case. Overall, women aren’t as broadly interested in the field as men.

When asked to rate their interest using a five-point scale, 76% of men chose a four- or five-star rating. Only 24% of women rated their interest similarly. That indicates that the disparity may actually be interest-driven, not bias-related.

[Source: Career Explorer]

5. 42% of Ethical Hackers in the US Are White

Among ethical hackers working in the United States, 42% of them classify themselves as white. The second-largest group was South Asians, representing 17% of everyone working in the field.

East Asians made up 11%, while Black or African American professionals made up 9%. Another 6% are Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish, and 4% identify as Arab. The remaining 11% are classified as “Other.”

[Source: Career Explorer]

6. The Youngest Hacker Convicted of Violating Cybercrime Laws Was Just 15

At age 15, Jonathan James – operating under the alias cOmrade – hacked several companies, as well as computers operated by the United States Department of Defense. Once identified, he was arrested in 2000. He received a six-month house arrest sentence and was barred from using computers recreationally, making him the youngest person convicted of breaking cybercrime laws.

[Source: Kaspersky]

7. Russian Intelligence Hackers Are the Fastest Hackers in the World

When it comes to speed, Russian hackers are notably quicker than those from other nations. On average, they clock in 8 times faster than their counterparts in China, North Korea, and Iran. They’re also quicker than many criminal hackers not associated with state-sponsored activities.

[Source: NBC News]

8. Russian Hackers Can Infiltrate a Network in Just 18 Minutes

As a demonstration of just how fast Russian hackers are, they’re able to go from initially breaching a network to tapping information on connected devices – a process referred to as “breaking out” – in a mere 18 minutes. That’s far faster than second-place North Korea, which comes in with a breaking out time of 2 hours and 20 minutes.

[Source: Forbes]

9. With 74% of Americans Worried About Their Personal Data Being Stolen, Hackers are American’s Biggest Crime Fear

When it comes to the crime that Americans worry about, hackers are number one. Seventy-four percent of Americans are worried about their personal data and financial information being stolen. Plus, 72% are concerned about becoming the victim of identity theft, something that can be tied to hacks, as well.

In third place was a tie, with 43% of Americans worrying about having their home burglarized while they’re away or having their car broken into or stolen. Rounding out the top five fears is having your school-aged child harmed while at school, coming in with 34%.

[Source: Statista]

10. 58% of State-Backed Cyberattacks in the US Originate from Russian Hackers

When it comes to state-sponsored cyberattacks against the US, Russian hackers are behind the majority. Russians were involved in 58% of the related cyber intrusions. Plus, their success rate is rising, moving up from 21% in 2020 to 32% in 2021.

[Source: Euro News]

11. State-Sponsored Russian Hackers Target US Government Agencies More than 50% of the Time

When it comes to the targets of Russian state-sponsored hackers, United States government agencies are in their sights more often than not. In 2021, 53% of state-sponsored attacks by Russian hackers against the US targeted United States government agencies.

[Source: Euro News]

About the Author

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Catherine Reed

Catherine Reed is a writer and researcher with experience writing about a wide variety of topics including personal finance, technology, and staffing.